Murder Ward

The man’s son was dressed in his white shirt and tie and sitting at a desk in Paraguay; the man viewed him on screen through Facebook Messenger. His son coughed hard. “You sound sick,” said the man. “I’m not sick, Dad,” said Elder Laws. “I just went shopping, and they took my temperature and IContinue reading “Murder Ward”

Stop Snitching

Their cheeks were pink from the cold air, but they were both sweating from their run. “Lindsay was being a jerk, Dad,” said Grant. “Oh my gosh!” Lindsay exclaimed. She looked at the man. “He was soooo slow.” “It’s not my fault. I haven’t worked out in, like, six weeks.” “So the Missionary Training CenterContinue reading “Stop Snitching”

Homecoming

They left the minivan in central parking. The bridge to terminal A looked as it always did, with the moving walkway churning away and the “Welcome to Logan Airport” audio playing. But they were the only people on the bridge. When they entered the terminal, they were on the fourth floor, and as they reachedContinue reading “Homecoming”

You’re a Red Dot Now

The young man and Elder Smith have been together for nearly three weeks. Elder Smith is about six feet with dishwater blond hair; he’s skinnier than the young man, soft spoken, and hardworking. He is from Montana and speaks slowly and deliberately. After a week of being together, the young man jokes that Smith mightContinue reading “You’re a Red Dot Now”

Upon This Rock

The day begins with Elder Stone’s mirror routine. After starching and ironing his shirt, he stands in front of the mirror in the front room, puts his belt on, then his shirt, and then spends a couple of minutes fluffing the shirt around the waist to get it just so. When he’s finished fluffing it,Continue reading “Upon This Rock”

Medflight

Dusk in Glendale, California, and they stand on an old wooden porch. The door is partially open, and the young man knocks hard on the screen door. Traffic flies by at the intersection to their right, but there is traffic everywhere in California–it is the background noise to life out here. A tall Latina womanContinue reading “Medflight”

Know When to Run

In East LA, many of the houses are triple deckers, and if you keep following the driveway, you’ll find another triple decker behind it, and if you go further, you’ll find a third. It’s 8:30 pm, and the young man and Elder Stone have encountered nothing but “No hablo inglés” for the last hour. TheyContinue reading “Know When to Run”

We Met the Other Night

Darkness has fallen around Pasadena when they emerge from a public housing complex on Colorado Boulevard. The streetlights are bright, and traffic is heavy as people head home from work. Their car is parked on the street just around the corner. The young missionary is headed that way when they pass a black man standingContinue reading “We Met the Other Night”

Turn the Other Cheek

Elder Duncan rides a purple girl bike. The Schwinn he brought into the mission was stolen by El Monte Flores a year ago, and he salvaged a girl mountain bike from a church member who let him take it for free. The young man still has the Schwinn he brought to the field; he’s beenContinue reading “Turn the Other Cheek”

If You Still Believe in God

The young man has been in the mission field for slightly more than two weeks. He has learned how to talk to people at doors and in the street. He has helped teach a handful of lessons, and he is progressing in the missionary study program. It is a mild day in November in Whittier,Continue reading “If You Still Believe in God”